A Breach of Duty
by Charles Lemos, Wed Jun 24, 2009 at 03:28:26 PM EDT
As Governor of South Carolina, Mark Sanford is also Constitutionally speaking the chief law enforcement officer of the Palmetto State. By leaving the state, the Governor abrogated his constitutional duties. Of all the categories of powers afforded the governor by statute, the most sweeping involve crisis management. Historically, the South Carolina legislature has given the governor the authority to manage disasters. In South Carolina the Governor is granted seven emergency powers to deal with a crisis or catastrophe in order "to maintain peace, tranquility, and good order." These powers range from declaring a state of emergency to calling out the National Guard and ordering evacuations in cases of natural disasters. Had an unforeseen act of god or act of terrorism befallen the citizens of South Carolina, the Governor's absence would have impeded a timely and effective response. In short, the Governor has breached his duty and must step down or be impeached.